I have a vague memory of reading something somewhere in the dim and distant past which suggested that toddlerhood is in fact the first adolescence. Whilst Little Fish is probably a little old to get away with the toddler label, I'm thinking I definitely got a glimpse of her teenage years today.
We went shopping. In the first shop we entered, Little Fish zoomed around in her powerchair, zipping in and out of the racks of clothing, popping up behind me and demanding "Wot you doin', Mumma?". I showed her some Tshirts and she told me "No Mummy that not your style. That is a bit girl you a mummy." Thanks kiddo!
Cue collapse of every shopper within earshot (and, for the record, I don't think I am too young for a nice frilly t-shirt with a lacey edge to it, and I would have overruled her, but it was a little lower cut than I was expecting). Steering Mog, I made for the exit with Little Fish shouting out about how I hadn't paid. I did try to point out I hadn't bought anything, but she wasn't convinced. Thankfully the shop assistants were...
Onwards and into the next shop. A smarter shop, slightly more expensive. "How about this one, Little Fish?"
"That might fit you. Might suit you. Not that one. No that one too young. This is a good one".
We retired to the changing roms (thankfully not communal) with two tshirts and a pair of trousers. Pulled on first Tshirt. "What do you think Little Fish? Does it fit?"
"Yes it does fit you".
"Oh good, so shall we get it?"
"No it is not look good on you".
Great. My four year old style guru has spoken. I pulled on the second tshirt, ignoring the stifled giggling coming from the other cubicles. "How about this one?"
"Yes that is good that is you style Mumma".
"OK Shall we get it then?"
"Yes but you need to pay Mummy". I'm not sure whether she thought I was planning to shoplift or use her pocket money, but either way it was a cheap laugh for the women in the other cubicles once more. I didn't try on the trousers; couldn't face it.
Out of the changing rooms and over to the tills. I thought my ordeal might have been over, but Little Fish insisted on holding the tshirt and handing it over to the assistant all by herself. This would have been substantially easier had there not been three other women already in the middle of paying, as well as a shop mannequin precariously perched on a narrow plinth just that little bit too close to the till. I caught it, no harm done. And the assistant reached over for the tshirt asking "Is that for me?"
"NO, it is for MY MUMMY it is NOT yours you am not 'aving it."
Mog, sensibly, opted out of this whole procedure by hiding behind her sunglasses and pretending to be asleep.
We left, with the tshirt and a receipt just incase anyone was in any doubt about our having paid for it. And walked across to Waitrose, where apparently we were joined by most of the women who had been in the other cubicles. I think that's why we got so many knowing glances as Little Fish trundled up and down the aisles saying "Now THEN. We need Bags oh 'uRRAY BAGS 'ere Mummy you get the bags I show you" and other delights.
Tomorrow we're off to Reading to find some things for Mog. If I leave the air conditioning running, I can leave Little Fish in the bus all day can't I?